Sharing books with young children

Tips for sharing a book with your child


  • Pick a peaceful place to read the book so that you and your child don't get distracted.

  • Make storytime a special time with your child. Books can be used throughout the day as part of games or to calm children at bedtime.

  • Let him/her help to choose a book and cuddle up together.

  • Let your child hold the book and turn the pages with you - they will soon understand that you read a book from the front to the back.

  • Look together at the pictures. Look for little details. They help him/her understand what the book is about, point to the pictures and talk about what you see. Emphasise key words - repeat and extend eg 'car' - Do you like the car? The car is red, etc.

  • Don't rush your child, take it at his/her pace.

  • Share books little and often. Books should be fun - if your child is restless, stop and try again later. You don't always have to get to the end of the book.

  • Read the same book again and again if you both enjoy it. This helps him/her to remember the story. It helps him/her to recognise some of the words. Point to show meaning.

  • Encourage your child to join in with lots of actions and sounds to make it more fun

  • Let him/her 'read' the book to you by talking about each picture.

  • Read books with catchy words or rhymes. She/he will enjoy the repetition and joining in. Using silly voices, funny phrases and put tune into your voice.

  • Use different voices for characters in the story

  • Keep books within easy reach of your child. Try putting books into toy boxes.